Spitting Out Tofu

Ladies and gentleman, it’s a sad day in NMA world.

Last night, for the first time ever, my wife spit out the food I made for her.  I don’t remember her exact words, but it was something to the extent of “If I swallow that, I’ll puke.”

The food in question was a piece of lightly-seared tofu, coated in a delicate peanut butter coconut curry sauce, served with snow peas over soba noodles.  And she frickin’ spit it out.

[peanut butter tofu photo]

[Chewed up tofu in napkin photo removed by censors.]

It’s not as bad as it sounds.  Erin is 14 weeks pregnant and this is her first instance of being otherwise-inexplicably grossed out by a random food.  At least, that’s her excuse.  She says the texture of the tofu, combined with the pastiness of the sauce (didn’t seem pasty to me), is what made it impossible to get down.  Funny, I used to be the one who couldn’t stand the texture of tofu.

But by all means, don’t let the vision of chewed-up, peanut-buttery tofu in a dirty, crumbled napkin prevent you from trying this one tonight. 🙂  I actually really enjoyed mine.

I found the recipe in my recent go-to cookbook, Williams-Sonoma Vegetarian.  Time and time again, I’m finding this book to be an ass-saver when Erin is going to be home in 45 minutes and I haven’t even thought about dinner.  Not that there’d be trouble if she came home and I hadn’t cooked, but it doesn’t hurt to keep the wheels of marriage greased, you know?

Anyway, I usually change the recipes a little based on what I have in the kitchen. (This also allows me to post them without getting threatening phone calls from guys in suits.)  This time, among other things, that meant curry paste instead of chili paste and using different noodles.

[soba noodles photo]

And, most notably, substituting for coconut milk.

Ok, I have a coconut milk question.  Usually when I open a can of coconut milk, it smells nice.  Like coconuts.  But this can and two of the past three cans I have opened, from different brands, have smelled like feet.  Nasty, sweaty, feet.  Rotting feet, perhaps.

I’ve chosen to throw them out and then swear I’m going to write a stongly-worded letter to the grocery store. (I won’t.)  But is this common?  It never seems to happen with other canned goods.  Anyone else have this experience?  Should I just put the rotten feet coconut milk in my food and hope you can’t taste it?  I mean, if Erin’s going to spit it out anyway…

So here’s the recipe I’ve used, just in case you still have some semblance of an appetite.  I really liked the peanut butter sauce; substituting almond milk and coconut oil seemed to work just fine in it.  And the peanut butter (which I hardly ever eat anymore) reminded me of my college days, when I was hell-bent on gaining weight and muscle and used to set my alarm for 2 a.m. every night so I could get up and eat a peanut butter sandwich for extra calories.

I do weird things.

Peanut Butter Tofu with Snow Peas

4.5 from 2 reviews
Vegan Peanut Butter Tofu with Snow Peas
Serves: 4 Servings
  • One carton extra-firm tofu (14 ounces)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil or other cooking oil
  • ½ lb Asian noodles, like soba
  • 1 cup snow peas or snap peas, trimmed
  • 2 tsp curry paste
  • ½ cup coconut milk (or sub other milk and coconut oil)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  1. Cut the tofu block into two slabs, then cover on all sides with lots of paper towels and set some plates or a skillet on top to weigh it down and remove water. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, then cube the tofu.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Lightly salt and add snow peas for 30 seconds; remove and set aside. Cook the noodles according to the package directions; when they're done, drain and rinse them in cold water to stop the cooking and set them aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the tofu cubes, turning after about two minutes and repeating until each side is lightly browned. Lightly sprinkle with salt and remove from heat, but you'll be adding the sauce to the pan with the tofu.
  4. While you're searing the tofu, whisk together the peanut butter and coconut milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry paste (you may want more or less, to taste), soy sauce, lime juice, and sugar and whisk to combine.
  5. Dump the sauce into the tofu pan and add the noodles and snap peas. Let the flavors combine over medium heat for a minute or two before serving.


Dig this post?
Spread the word!

Keep in touch:

The Nutrients You Need (With Nothing You Don't)

complementNo Meat Athlete has helped develop Complement™, the perfect nutrient formula for plant-based athletes. Complement brings together, in one place, the three essential nutrients that are missing from a reasonably diverse, whole food plant-based diet:
  • B12
  • D3
  • DHA/EPA Omega-3s
It's everything you need to complement your diet, and nothing you don't.

Click here to learn more.


  1. Eww a night run. Nice! I ran into a guy at the start of the trail a few weekends ago that had just finished his run. He had started when it was dark and tripped over a big log during his run. I ran by the same log too. Even with the head lamp he missed it. So, be careful.
    .-= Caleb´s last blog ..Fall Color – Arkansas style =-.

  2. This recipe looks absolutely fabulous. But then, I’m post-menopausal. Poor Erin – I can empathize.

    I don’t think coconut milk should smell like rotten feet. Certainly have never noticed it in the cans I’ve used, but perhaps I should pay better attention.
    .-= Candy´s last blog ..One Word at a Time: Trust =-.

  3. hmmmm yah….I’m not sure anything you eat should smell like feet. Maybe switch brands again? LOVE LOVE peanut noodles & veggies- one of my favorite go to meals. I made a modified version of Rachel Ray’s and love it every time. Hope you guys have a nice weekend planned
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..Double Digits & Savory Oats Brinner =-.

  4. Aww man, what a bummer! Tofu is kind of weird, I guess.. Oh, and coconut milk should NOT smell like feet, thats gross. I’ve personally never have tried it, but still….yuck.
    .-= Kathleen´s last blog ..This is supposed to be a health blog… =-.

  5. Poor Erin 🙁 But it will all be worth it in April! And then you can show this funny blog entry to the little one. I’m a HUGE fan of peanut butter, so if you have any extra, send it my way, hehe.
    .-= Megan (The Runner’s Kitchen)´s last blog ..Tempo on the Treadmill =-.

  6. I hope the food aversions stop, but at least they are for a good reason 🙂
    This recipe looks fantastic to me! I just managed to convince the husband how wonderful tofu is instead of meat, so I need to make it as flavorful as possible for him. Plus, any excuse to use soba noodles is OK in my book (does that make me weird?)

  7. ohhhh this looks delicious! i guess we can forgive erin since she is pregnant and all 🙂

    any reason you don’t eat peanut butter anymore? do you eat any nut butters? just wondering…

    i have had a few cans of coconut milk that didn’t smell the greatest, but i still used them, it tasted good and i am alive, if that helps at all 🙂
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..just one of those days =-.

  8. Haha, oh well, I guess every dish can’t please everyone, right? That sounds like a great recipe, though I’m not a huge coconut fan so hopefully the flavor would be subtle
    .-= Evan Thomas´s last blog ..Caffeine Hangover =-.

  9. Ymmmm…I will definitely be trying this. I have a really yummy recipe that’s called Tofu and Veggies in Peanut Sauce that’s served over brown rice, so this should be good with soba noodles. I had a couple food aversions when I was pregnant too. I’m sorry Erin didn’t like the taste, but the good thing is that it will pass! Thanks for another good recipe! 🙂

  10. Oh Matt . . . I can’t help but laugh, but truly she does have a good excuse. I haven’t quite gotten similar responses but my bf sometimes despises the food I make . . . especially the red beans as taco “meat” . . . it turned into quite the situation.

  11. That’s a shame, I wouldn’t take offense since her excuse was an honest one…it happens and as soon as the little one is out and about she’ll be back to her old eating habits.
    I love tofu and peanut butter sauce, I made a version before and thought it was the best thing ever, but then I have a PB addiction.

  12. I think that recipe looks fabulous, I love making peanut butter noodles! (pb addict) I’ve never had that happen with coconut milk, but I don’t use it that often either
    .-= EatingRD´s last blog ..amazing experience =-.

  13. My husband recently got violently ill from a curry I’d cooked. I was mortified! The next time we had curry, he felt ill again, so we figured it had to be either the new brand of curry powder or the coconut milk. He tried drinking the coconut milk and was fine (I thought he might be, since I use coconut milk in lots of dishes), so I tossed the curry and have since bought a different brand, which he can handle with no problems.

    Poor Erin!
    .-= Hanlie´s last blog ..Back to the Future =-.

  14. I get a little gaggy even driving by a restaurant where I had a food aversion to something when I was pregnant and that was 3 years ago. You might never get to make that meal again!
    .-= Suzanne´s last blog ..The newbie’s perspective, a guest post =-.

  15. this sounds delicoous! thank u 🙂

  16. This looks so YUMMY!

  17. Looks good to me! My favorite tofu recipe at this point is Scrambled Tofu from Vegan With A Vengance.

  18. I would love to try this for my son..He plays football and wants to become a No Meat Athlete. I have him reading up on he does not need meat protein. This would be a great thing for him to try…

  19. I was hoping to like this, but–maybe I messed up the ingredients–maybe too much PB? Altho I did measure everything. My complaint was that the sauce was really dense and I had trouble getting it mixed through the other ingredients–the texture was pretty gummy. Also I haven’t had much experience cooking soba and I may have slightly undercooked it. This probably deserves a second chance but I’d definitely thin down the sauce next time.

  20. I made this tonight ,and if I do it again there are two things I’d like to change: A) either use less peanut butter or add a lot of water (too gunky on the noodles), and B) use the chili paste to add some heat. One change I already made was adding broccoli since I like a lot more veggies, but scallions or celery would have been good too.

  21. Wow, I’m newly vegan and I’m shocked at how lovely all the comments are! So kind and supportive, just had to say what a wonderful community this is, recipe sounds great😋

  22. I started making my own, raw organic coconut soaked, blended, strained and mmmmm. And I cannot have soy foods, I have hashimotos. Oh Yeah, always loved tofu and tempeh, noticed tofu takes on the flavor of its companions, so stinky feet smelling coconut milk might not be such a good idea. I would complain to the company that packaged the milk. Could be all the additives they used, check your ingredients. There are none I have found I would want to ingest or give my animals. : ) Just a thought.

  23. jwoolman says:

    I would have tossed the coconut milk, too. That smell suggests yeast or bacterial contamination. Not worth the risk.

    But you will be able to easily make your own coconut milk in a blender just before you need it and be forever free from the vagaries of poor quality control. The recommendation I saw to make it easier was to get finely shredded dry unsweetened coconut for the purpose. Any shredded dry unsweetened will work in a high power blender like a Vitamix or a Blendtec, but I think lower power ones will do better with the finely shredded (which is practically granulated). The key words are dry (not moist) and unsweetened (not sweetened). I haven’t tried it yet in my Vitamix but did manage to find the proper coconut online so I’m ready to go when ambition strikes (probably in a banana vegan ice cream recipe). I see varying recommendations about the minimum amount you have to make at once, but you can look online for recipes and also check out YouTube. I would suggest looking for Vitamix plus coconut milk for starters. Or just blender plus coconut milk might work. There are also recipes for coconut butter, at least for the Vitamix.

    Being a minimalist, I suspect just tossing in the coconut with other ingredients makes the most sense if you have no intention of using the coconut milk on its own. At least with a high power machine that doesn’t need to blend for very long. Could always get the coconut started first before adding other things.

  24. jwoolman says:

    By the way, Eden also makes nice 100% buckwheat soba noodles. I like to have alternatives to wheat for variety. I have to break them up before cooking in the microwave so they fit into a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup, my old 500W oven needs two or three installments of 3-minute heating (use enough water to cover well plus more) with stirring in between. It comes out kind of clumpy but the noodles separate again if you rinse them well (I guess it’s starch that clumps it?). Maybe it won’t clump if you have a regular stove and use a lot of water. That seems to happen with some non-wheat pastas in the microwave.

  25. When i was pregnant i couldn’t stomach eggs. My child was allergic to eggs i found out later. Recipe looks great to me 🙂

  26. Delicious. I’m transitioning from omnivore to vegetarian (slowly) and I loved the dish. The sauce did get thick and difficult to move around so I added a little water and it was fine.
    I didn’t cook the sugar snap peas so they were too crunchy and I kicked them out of the bowl but it didn’t need them. This is now my go to recipe instead of spaghetti carbonara which is my all time favourite restaurant dish. I may have overdone the portion size but it was so moreish.

  27. Sarah Gregson says:

    The idea for this recipe is lovely but I would check the jar of curry sauce you’re using for animal products, like shrimp paste and fish sauce. Also, don’t give up on the coconut milk – particularly coconut oil is an anti-fungal which is very important for vegans who have a higher carb content in their diet. As the carb turns to sugar, you can end up with a nasty imbalance of bad bacteria in your gut because it feeds off the excess sugar. This can lead to irritable bowel pain, fatigue, weight gain and a whole host of nasty skin and nail conditions. If you think a vegan diet is tough, try doing a vegan pro-biotic no sugar or carbs diet to kill of the bad bacteria 🙂 Not fun.

Leave a Comment


Rate this recipe: